From India to MLS
Joshua Quinn-Watson was living and researching in India when he developed a keen interest in the law.
“A lot of my research was focussed on the debating tradition in Indian philosophy,” he says.
“They had a rich tradition in which bitter philosophical rivals refined their positions by engaging in spirited but reasoned debate.
“I think legal advocacy is the thing in our society that comes closest to that idea. There are formalities of politeness, and arguments have to conform to logic and reason.”
Returning home to Melbourne after five years in India, Joshua was awarded the Zelman Cowen Scholarship to study the Juris Doctor at Melbourne Law School.
“I felt nervous coming back from India and somewhat self-conscious,” he says. “That sense of being valued gave me a great deal of confidence. It meant a lot. The financial support was immensely helpful and made it possible for me to devote time to things like mooting.”
Now in his final year of the JD, Joshua has taken every opportunity to hone his advocacy skills. He has represented MLS in five mooting competitions, most recently as a member of the MLS team that won the Commonwealth Moot.
While he has been awarded ‘best speaker’ prizes several times, Joshua prefers to focus on the wider team performance.
“I think there’s a real art to making the team work. That’s one of the beauties about mooting – you can’t do it alone.”
He says mooting at MLS has given him the opportunity to learn from some of the country’s leading legal minds, who generously donate their time.
“Judges and senior barristers come in to advise on moots, and you feel as though the usual barriers aren’t there. You’re all just people who like mooting and advocacy, united by a common interest. It’s an incredibly intimate and inspiring experience.”